First Impression: African Queen
Date toured: December 2011
“We’re a little different than other charter yachts in terms of our itineraries,” Capt. Ted Minnar told me. “The owner sets seasonal itineraries and then charter clients can decide whether to book where we’re already going. For this winter, we expect to be in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, Belize, and the San Blas Islands. We’ll spend three or four months in the San Blas islands through the summer, at least until the end of hurricane season.”
Minnar says that in addition to having an impressive interior décor, African Queen was built with some impressive technology, too. She is so fuel efficient that she burns just 8 gallons per hour while cruising at 9 knots—which is about the amount of fuel that a sailboat might expend. This is important to charter clients, who will pay far lower fuel costs than they might aboard other motoryachts in the same size range.
Also worth noting is that Minnar and his wife, Gina, are experienced in charter. They spent six years running the 47-foot sailing catamaran Cool Change in the Grenadines before joining African Queen. For charters, they will have one additional crew member to accommodate the motoryacht’s four guests. She is a permanent stewardess, not a freelancer, and she speaks Spanish.
The ideal charter party for African Queen is two couples, since she has one king-bed cabin and one queen-bed cabin.